How I Found my Window Seat of Confidence

How I Found my Window Seat of Confidence

I’m usually not the one who does the travel planning for a trip. I leave that to the experienced travel companion of mine. I just layout where I want to go, the dates we are available and the sights and restaurants I would like to visit. Once I communicate the desired plans to my husband, I can focus on the more important things. Like what to pack! Hey, I have my priorities in check.

A few months ago I took the left seat in planning a trip that was just my daughters and me. It was my youngest daughter’s, Jillian, 21st birthday. She had asked if we could plan a trip to Carmel and Monterey area of California and visit a winery. Once I said yes, I received a detailed list of what my daughter wanted to do and see. With wishlist in hand, it was time for me to get my wheels turning and planning.

My doubtfulness made its arrival

Have you planned something where you have it all mapped from start to finish? Well, I had the arrival of her best friend, Rebecca, to come hours before Jillian was going to get to the house. I envisioned the look of shock as Jillian witnessed her big surprise as she walked into the house.

Unfortunately, that ideal surprise did not play out the way I had hoped. At midnight Rebecca arrived, twelve hours later than expected. I had to adjust a few things to make Rebecca’s arrival a secret and make up an excuse to have Jillian go with me to pick up “a friend” at the airport. Let me just say, Jillian was super surprised! “Mom our family doesn’t do surprises, cause no one can hold a secret” she kept telling me. Little did she know!

IMG_1170With just three hours of sleep that night we woke up excited and ready to enjoy our girls trip. When we finally arrived at our destination, got our rental car and googled mapped our way to our little Air B&B, Jillian said, “Mom, you’re the airport travel queen, you’ve got this down!” What? What they didn’t know was that I was sweating, and my stomach was in knots. The fear of having to do this all by myself scared me!

Why?

1. I didn’t have the security of having Jeff with me.
2. I had to google map everything. I know I can do it, but there is something about having a husband that deals with maps on a daily occurrence.
3. Jeff can navigate his way through any airport all I have to do is follow him.

For me, this trip was a life lesson that I will never forget.

Unpacking the courage I’d been looking for

I’m sure at some point in your life you have heard someone say that they had to travel the world to discover themselves. We all have that desire to find out what it is that makes you, you.

Before this trip was in the planning stages, I found myself praying of what would bring me joy, and renew confidence that I’d lost somewhere between raising kids to having adult children — now. What dreams or goals do I want to accomplish for myself?

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Ever had those thoughts?

I know that I’m not the only PW that struggles with longings of joy and looking for that once lost desire to reach a goal. I know that many of us can’t exactly runaway to California in wishes to discover a new found confidence or yearning we have.

I will say this: I learned a few things about myself, including ~

1. I know that I’m capable of planning a trip from point A to point B. Setting some personal goals that I want to do.
2. Navigating is not as hard as I make it out to be. Just gotta write it out.
3. Don’t be fearful of taking the lead when things are not going as planned.
4. Be flexible in the plan. If what you’re hoping for doesn’t happen as expected, try another way.

With all that being said, doing something that was entirely out of my comfort zone made me discover courage that I didn’t think I had.

We all have that within us, what about you?

Whatever it might be my hope and prayer is that we never stop traveling to find those little discoveries that are deep in our hearts and continue to grow in what God has for us.

I challenge you to find something that will make you get out of your comfort zone. Maybe you need to…

Call a friend that you would like to get to know more.
Start that exercise program that you keep telling yourself that you’re going to do.
Plan a little getaway with your husband.

 

If you are thinking about something, do it! Tell me what it is. I’d love to hear about it.

fullsizeoutput_4b1 Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany

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The Important Lessons I Learned from my Kitchen Rag.

The Important Lessons I Learned from my Kitchen Rag 2 (1)

Before I jetted out the door to pick up my handsome navigator, I did a quick wipe down of the kitchen counter of any crumbs, finger marks, and coffee spills.  When we arrived back to the homeland, I positioned myself sitting on our kitchen bar stool. I began sharing with Jeff about family stuff and all the happenings. Before I knew it he promptly grabbed the kitchen rag and began to wipe the counter!   Why did he need to re-clean what had already been cleaned?

As I watched him perform his kitchen cleaning ritual, I found myself wanting to say something that would probably change the whole loving feeling.

Girlfriend, this was not a one-time occurrence; this occurred for a few months! Not only that, but the infamous kitchen rag found a little travel companion-a dish towel was also included in my pilot’s need to tidy up. A double whammy!

I have issues. I admit that. Let’s face it the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s important to me that I take the time to have that welcome home feeling there for my husband’s arrival. It’s my gift to him, but when he comes in after me and does it all again, that’s when the momma bear in me comes out.

Being a PW, I take pride that I’m independent, and I’ve developed skills in running/controlling a household. I know that I’m not the perfect PW, I struggle. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

So what’s all the drama in the kitchen about?

1. I like to place the dishrag folded over the sink. Jeff prefers to put it on the kitchen faucet.

2. The dish towel has a towel rack below the sink. He likes to dock the towel over the dish rack.

The longer I flew around with the frustrations of things not being where they’re supposed to be (or where I think they should be), I began to form an immediate response of resentment that would continue to repeat in my mind like a broken record.

How was I going to turn off the switch?

In those struggles, I’ve come to realize that I should work on picking my battles and be willing to accept his habits and placements of things. I know he’d do the same with me.

Making a change in my approach

As I became more and more aware of the blurred vision I was developing, I had to think of ways I could match my outlook with expectations.

I set the tone for my home. The way I react effects all those around.

Ask myself, who am I really doing it for?

Evaluate ways to approach my thoughts in how I’m viewing things. 

“We won’t develop new responses until we develop new thoughts.”

The Important Lessons I Learned from my Kitchen Rag 2 (2)

I needed to retrain my brain and my attitude and not necessarily my husband, to my way of thinking and doing things. When it comes down to it, I can’t make my husband place a towel a certain way or a dishrag.  However, I can control how I feel and react.  I choose whether my thoughts are destructive or constructive.

As PWs we have the mindset of taking charge when our husbands are away. That’s a great attribute to have!  Letting some of that go while he’s home can be a challenge at times. But as wives, it’s important that we are flexible and willing to veer off course and let him take controls. In doing so,  we’ve created a show of respect and love as they make their entrance back into our little abode.

So what was the solution?

As I was reevaluating the kitchen control Nazi that I was representing, I started to change my attitude. Yes, I could have nagged and complained, but that’s not going to get me anywhere:

“It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop than to share a house with a disagreeing quarrelsome, and scolding woman.” ( Proverbs 21:9 The Message)

So rather than looking at it as if he was coming into my space and taking over, I realized that he was taking the time to clean the kitchen, dry the dishes and help any way needed.  Instead of allowing my frustrations to enter in, I needed to offer grace and flexibility rather than assuming I was being corrected. Not only did I need to bring that attitude to the kitchen but with the kids and the remote control.

I’m sure us PWs have our own little control issues whether it be the kitchen rag placement,  determine who’s responsible for the cooking, or agreeing where his suitcase should land when he walks in the door. (Girl, that’s a whole different post).  But that’s the lives we live as PWs, and I’m sure we wouldn’t want it any other way.

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Needless to say, after some prayerful thoughts of a happy home, a happy wife  I bought a sponge that fits inside my stainless steel sink cubby box.  Now I have his and her kitchen towels. As a wife of a pilot, there’s got to be some give and take, wouldn’t you agree?

Do you have issues when it comes to controlling, even over something as simple as a kitchen rag? Leave a comment below. I’m sure we can all learn from each other. 

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Takeoff and Landings, Always, Tiffany

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The Passengers of my Life

The Passengers of my Life

With my coffee in hand, I sat down at my desk, powered up my laptop, and clicked on Facebook. Scrolling through my newsfeed, I noticed that one of my posts from Takeoff and Landings was shared on a PW’s page; I couldn’t help but get a little giddy.

Wow! Someone must have liked what I’d written.

However, within seconds of viewing their post, there were some negative comments that a few people felt compelled to share.  To me, it felt like a dozen people were stating their opinion, but in reality, there were only one or two. Unfortunately, for them, they didn’t agree with my Christian viewpoints as it was related to being a Pilot’s wife.

Needless to say, my day had vastly taken a nose dive and landed hard with tears of negativity and doubt.

Have you ever encountered those types of passengers showing up and choosing to sit right next to you?

Those two “wonderful passengers” (sarcastic tone) grabbed a seat and within minutes became a thorn in my side. They stole my armrest, talked non-stop in my ears and wouldn’t let me have a moments peace. Sadly, it was a long, long, flight for me. That lasted a week!

I flew head-on into a self-pity mode. This wasn’t the first time I’ve boarded a plane only to sit next to those travelers who have caused me to run into the lavatory and cry.

I’m sure we’ve all been there.

When we find ourselves wandering with those passages in our lives, that’s when we should look for the Manual of Emotions and process the situation. 

Here are a few examples of rowdy passengers you might want to look for:

Negativity Nancy. She can arrive at a moments notice, reaching for the call button and telling you that you’re not experienced enough or questioning your position to say things. 

Those critical and negative comments hurt. Ultimately I found myself crying in my closet, feeling like I had a failed landing.

Doubter Debbie. She will plague you with questions of why? how? and are you sure? She’ll take the controls and leave you doubting your actions.

Debbie had me in full-speed confusion about sharing my story. She was spewing excuses into my headset about why I shouldn’t be doing what I love to do.

When seated next to these types of passengers, what’s a girl supposed to do?

My Manual of thoughts

When I come across these type of tourists, ones who like to play with my thoughts and emotions, it’s then I have to pull out my Life Operation Manual and figure out the best way to navigate the situation. Here’s what I’ve read and learned:

  • Maintain Control of the feelings that arrive in our thoughts.

I recall reading — “Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business …, You believe in your creations…  they deserve to be out in the world.  You create because you have a God-given ability to do so.” (Rachel Hollis Girl, Wash your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are)   Armed with that encouragement, I decided to have a better perspective and outlook!

  • Analyze the problem: what is really causing the problem? It is the cynical passengers’ or something else?
  • Take appropriate Action: by looking for someone to talk to or ask for a hug.
  • Maintain Awareness of our surroundings. Stand firm to your goals and trust God to help you what He has called you accomplish.

This life is not easy peasy. It takes prayer and lots of grace and mercy.  I have a story to share, and maybe, just maybe, one PW or two PW’s might be able to relate and say,”That’s where I am! I really needed to hear that!”

One of my favorite authors said, “Negative thoughts lead to a crisis response-activating us physically but hindering our thinking. Positive thoughts allow us to process a situation accurately and respond in a healthy way”.

Are we going to let those contradictory passengers take over our flight? Or are we going to seek out those that bring us the courage and strength to get back on course?

Who I want to travel with

When I find myself squished tightly between Negativity Nancy and Doubting Debbie, it’s then that I can choose to leave my current seat and search for those passengers who can lift me up instead of tearing me down.

Here are the types of seat-mates I would much rather fly with:

Focus Frances. She can help us get back on track by reminding us that we have value and importance to those around us. “Frances” can focus our vision and help us live our best PW life. Thankfully, I didn’t have to search too hard for my “ Frances.” I reached for the intercom and called out to my wedge of friends to vent while sipping a glass of wine. By doing so, I was able to look out the window and see the blue sky of encouragement.

Goal setting Ginger.   Not only is she there to pull me out of the depths of self-pity, but “Ginger” reminds me of my final destination and helps me re-evaluate what I’m doing.  When I was shot down by someone or something that caused me to reroute my thinking, I had to find the ticket that had my goals written on them, showing me a first-class seat in life.

In those days of flying around in my self-pity cloud of discouragement, I recall a scripture that I highlighted in my bible, “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable.” (Philippians 4:8 NLT)

“What we put into our minds determines what comes out in words and actions.”

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “What we put into our minds determines what comes out in words and actions.” I was allowing those negatives comments to shut down my engine (mind) and stay that way.  I had to ask God to help me find my focus ( the keys) to start back up and fly into what I’m called to do.

I won’t lie to you and say I immediately go to God and ask for help. It takes practice, and I have to practice every day.

As I make my descent and final landing, I’m learning I don’t need the approval of many or even one. I write, look at the flight plan God has put in front of me and fly with that. When I do that, it’s a much smoother journey.

What about you, what sort of passengers in your life have you come in contact with?

Love to hear from you and maybe we can help each other as we carve this PW life. Just leave a comment below.

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fullsizeoutput_4b1Whether you’re seated next to your pilot in the right or left seat of life, we are flying and taking off and landing together. Flying alongside my pilot for over 25 years I have found a sense of courage, discovered independence that I thought I did not have and developed a better understanding that I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.  Maybe you want those things too. You have come to the right place.

  Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany

Fear of Arrival…

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t-shirt add ons

Have you ever walked into a room feeling apprehensive about what you were wearing?

As I headed into a party the other night where pilots, flight attendants, and other friends, were in attendance, I wasn’t sure I had chosen the right shirt. In fact, I was so nervous I carried my tote bag over my chest to cover it because I didn’t want anyone to see what it said.

What was I wearing that caused me this much panic and anxiety? 

Yes, He’s working

No, I don’t know when he’ll be home.

Yes, we are still married.

No, He’s not imaginary.

While I love the shirt and think it’s highly appropriate for a PW like me, I was uncertain about how people would react to those phases. Thankfully after one cold beer, my t-shirt insecurity flew away.  As I talked with different people throughout the night, people stopped me to ask about my shirt:

  • A group of pilots laughed at the phrase, “He’s not imaginary, and No, I don’t know when he will be home.”
  • When another pilot read my shirt said, “No, he is not imaginary and lets’ keep that way. My schedule can change at a moments notice and heck; I don’t even know where I’m going half the time.” ( actually, our pilots do know where they’re going).
  • Even my PW wedge of friends couldn’t help but laugh cause they personally know the truth each of those phrases conveys.

Despite my earlier unease, I’m glad I wore the shirt to the party – not only because it added some fun to the evening, but it also reminded me of how I always respond to those phrases with others.

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My T-shirt reality

Yes, he is working. I’m not just making it up. His job is to fly those big jets in the sky, which requires him to be away from home a lot. He will wake up at 0 -dark early or finish his day at the wee hours of the morning.  His day is making sure hundreds of passengers arrive at their destinations without any technical difficulty.  He loves the work he does, and I’m proud of him for it!

No, I don’t know when he will be home. I’m not the PW who tracks his location all the time. Instead, I  put on my Superpower PW cape and take on my day!  I run errands, manage everyday household tasks and fill my day doing what I love to do such as writing (my job) and work on staying calm and picking my battles with a teenage boy. 

Jeff’s schedule can change in the blink of an eye. As I’m writing this, Jeff got called out on a three-day trip. He’s scheduled to come back tomorrow. However, that could change like the wind, and he could be home three days later.  So, no, I don’t know when he will be back.   But when he does return, I’ll be happy to see him fly into my arms. As long as he’s been a pilot, I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been happy to see him.

Yes, we are still married.  That’s why Jeff leaves for three or four days. Hahaha! I won’t lie to you, we’ve had turbulence, malfunctions, and miscommunications in our marriage. (you can read about those here).  But over the course of our marriage, we have learned to carry the bag of grace, patience, respect, and more importantly, the oversized bag of love.  I have heard from a few PW’s and their spouses that being a pilot requires some adjustments that are different from flying.

In the book Highest Duty by Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger he says, “I can control an airplane and make it do what I want it to do. I can learn all of its component systems and understand how they work in every circumstance. Piloting is well defined, with a process that is predictable and understandable to me. Relationships, on the other hand, are more ambiguous. There’s a good deal of nuance, and it’s not always obvious what the right answer is.”

Let’s be real, girlfriend, we are far from being predictable and understandable! At least I know I’m not!

So, yes, we are still married, I love him more and more each time he lands back into my life.

He is not imaginary.  Because I attend events, parties, and church by myself a lot, there have been occasions where people question whether I really have a husband!  When someone asks me where my husband is,  my brain goes into auto-responder mode:

*He is flying. 

*He’s gone for a few days. 

*He’s on the beach and decided not to take me (just to be sassy!)

I get excited to tell others about my husband and who he flies for. I’m proud of who is, and I talk about him with respect and love.  Trust me, he’s not imaginary… he’s alive and real!

In the end, it was fun to wear my shirt. In doing so, it brought up some great conversations with other wives and even their husbands.

If I made my own PW t-shirt, here are a few statements I’d consider having on it:

Stay steady and calm upon arrival

Altitude and Attitude are essential

Flexibility needed in all areas

I make him happy when he leaves and when he comes home

If you were to make a PW t-shirt what would you have on it? Leave a comment below, love to read what yours would say.

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 Take-off and Landings always, Tiffany

(**You can read more about these on a series I did A Pilot Wife and her shoes)

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